Scout Trout

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bearbutt
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Scout Trout

Post by bearbutt » Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:08 pm

So--because of some rather bad luck--my mother died--I found myself driving through Roscoe on my way to Massachusetts and back to Chicago--and decided to spend a little time on the Beaverkill. It's the sort of thing my mother would have encouraged. We went fishing a lot as a family in our early years, and she was a good sport about it all, making sure that when she outfished the boys, she did not embarrass us too much. If we caught five trout, she merely caught six. If our biggest was 14 inches, her biggest was 14 and a half. She made it look easy.

I picked a couple of bad days to be in Roscoe though: in three days the water temperatures dropped over 10 degrees to 48. This really slowed things down, Over two days I saw some BWOs and fall caddis, but not a single snout broke the surface of the water to feed. Three other guys I talked and fished with had the same experience. To get the fish to move it took small streamers--mostly olive dace tied on size 10 and 12 9671s. I took several fish this way--all browns between 11-13 inches.

One morning, when teasing fish with streamers, a large brown of about 16 inches broke clear of the water--a big leap, a good foot clear from the river--and dropped with a big splash. He wasn't feeding; I simply think he wanted to get a good look at what the hell was going on in his pool.

I've seen this happen many times before, and I'm sure others have too. I call these fish scout trout. They jump, look around, go back into the river with a big splash, and, one supposes, tell their buddies what they saw. I always laugh when I wonder about the last part.

Up in Maine, the landlocks do this a lot--as if it's play. But I really don't know what they are doing. Has anyone written about this subject, and if so can you steer me in the direction of some edification.

thanks, bb

p.s. obligatory Beaverkill trout picture:

Image

St.Froid
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Re: Scout Trout

Post by St.Froid » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:47 pm

I'm sorry to hear about your mother. My grandmother played that role in my life and the memories of fishing with her are priceless to me. As for the salmon up here, I have no answers for you. I think of them as Orcas; big, beautiful, enigmatic fish that do things beyond my meager understanding. I like the not understanding why part, it just makes seeing it that much more special.

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Eperous
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Re: Scout Trout

Post by Eperous » Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:16 am

BB... sorry to read about the passing of your Mother, and "bad luck"... first and foremost, condolences on your mom's passing... I buried two parents, no fun at all... hopefully we're lucky enough to have good memories of our parents, as I do...

Recently my wife and I postponed a trip to Nova Scotia, and then Montreal for various reasons... we were instead able to find our way to Lake Placid for several days at what seemed to be the height of leaf-peeping, the colors and mountains were outrageous... and, I did manage to soak some flies in the West Branch Ausable for a couple hours over two days... the night before the second day, air temps dropped into the upper 20s with day-time temps peaking at 52 degrees... it was cold, hat weather for sure... the best I could do, was manage two feeble bumps to streamers, one each day... I talked to several other flyfishers, and no one had any hits--- except one young FF who landed one trout nymphing peat-stained, ripping pocket water--- though boat loads of tiny BWO's floated past me the second day... while I stored my gear, with my wife taking photos around Monument Falls, I did manage to observe one trout, rise three times to that hatch of "invisible flies"... still, I had a great time as it was half-a-century ago this year I fished the Ausable the first time ever...

Driving back home, with on stop in Saratoga as part of our game plan, my wife read a book while I tossed a couple streamers in a long-time, favorite creek that often gives up landlocked salmon, some nice brook trout, and even lakers... I only fished it a half-hour, and quit after catching a 19" laker, for old times' sake...

Again, sorry to read about your loss...

Ed
A1-Monument Falls.JPG
A1-Monument Falls.JPG (98.19 KiB) Viewed 718 times
A2-19 inch white CHWB laker.JPG
A2-19 inch white CHWB laker.JPG (57.27 KiB) Viewed 718 times
A3-Lake Placid from Whiteface.JPG
A3-Lake Placid from Whiteface.JPG (27.46 KiB) Viewed 718 times

bearbutt
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Re: Scout Trout

Post by bearbutt » Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:45 am

Thanks, guys, for your kind words--much appreciated.

Now, about those "Scout Trout"--I agree with St. Froid, it's special to like the fact we don't know what the fish are doing when they make these ambiguous jumps--despite this gnawing desire to know. It's one of those (literary theory alert warning) Derridean moments of ambiguity and uncertainty and irresolution--. Probably as close as angling gets to poetry--the moment of not knowing, just feeling.

Ed, the West Branch of the Ausable is my favorite piece of water, and my advice for fishing it is this: get as far from the road as you can get. Bush country is usually a good bet in the fall if the flows are decent. Swing a soft hackle.

Nice laker by the way!

bb

tailwater
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Re: Scout Trout

Post by tailwater » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:16 pm

Living near and fishing the Battenkill for many years we would see fish doing this at times. Always a large fish. At the time the region 5 biologist thought it might be a way for fish to clean the lice from their gills. There is mention of this on line and photos. Ed having lived within 40 min. of Saratoga for 65 years I had no idea such a piece of water that would hold those different fish existed.

redietz
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Re: Scout Trout

Post by redietz » Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:47 pm

tailwater wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:16 pm
Living near and fishing the Battenkill for many years we would see fish doing this at times. Always a large fish. At the time the region 5 biologist thought it might be a way for fish to clean the lice from their gills. There is mention of this on line and photos.
The only place I've really noticed fish doing this was on a small steelhead stream in California, with fish fresh out of the ocean. I always assumed that lice were the problem.
Bob

St.Froid
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Re: Scout Trout

Post by St.Froid » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:15 pm

I've seen Sturgeon jump in the Androscoggin River in Portland. Fish of 4-5 feet long just going air born; the only words I could use to describe their efforts would be 'tumultuous abandon'. We were sitting on the deck at the SeaDog Brewery enjoying a cold beer and the piscatorial acrobatics; an amazing day. We have bear up here, usually small ones, cubs, who, while they aren't jumping, they're climbing trees for no apparent reason. Long tall trees with little or no cover or canopy. They climb all the way up only to slide down and do it all over again. They look like they're doing it because it's fun.

Do fish and bears have a fun gene? To quote the immortal Sydney Freeman "Take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice."

njcatchrelease
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Re: Scout Trout

Post by njcatchrelease » Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:28 am

I have heard in the past that fish will do that for various reasons such as breaking eggs loose and adjusting their swim bladder. Don't know if that is true or not but sounds logical.

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Eperous
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Re: Scout Trout

Post by Eperous » Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:08 pm

bearbutt wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:08 pm
... He wasn't feeding; I simply think he wanted to get a good look at what the hell was going on in his pool.
As I ponder this more, I can recall several incidents like this happening, most often on days I'd get SKUNKED!!!! :o :x :cry:

Often I knew a trout was NOT in the cards for me that day, YET I took that "one more cast approach." Often I'd see a trout swirl at whatever I offered, maybe nick a fish, maybe show somewhere else near me... the one constant in all these recollections was I NEVER, EVER caught anything, but only killed another fishless hour on the water... :oops:

Ed

bearbutt
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Re: Scout Trout

Post by bearbutt » Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:33 am

St.Froid wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:15 pm

Do fish and bears have a fun gene?
Or otters? I always thought if I could be reincarnated as an animal, I'd want to be an otter as they seem to have so much fun.

Then there's the 'warning' gene to consider--you know, when beavers slap their tails? When birds let out a cry? When we were in Kruger Park in South Africa this summer, we observed a herd of wildebeest, or gnus, approach a river from a bluff 100 feet above the river. The herd was about 100-120 in size, and they all stayed on top of the bluff except for one scout who got the short straw and had to work his way down to the river to see if it was safe. He got ten feet from the water and a couple of crocs showed their snouts he did a really fast 180 and was out of there in a blink. And the whole heard thundered away.

Do fish communicate warning signs?

A lot of these other explanations make sense, sort of--gill lice; eggs; swim bladders. Then there are those sturgeon jumps--there are amazing Youtube videos showing this happening. Hmmmmmmmm.

As Ed says, as far as trout are concerned, this sort of jumping thing tends to happen most often when the fishing is tough. I always keep coming back to that little factoid when trying to solve this puzzle.

Many thanks for your thoughts,
bb

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